HEARTS and Dunfermline are set to contest a new cup that has received the backing of both clubs, along with fan groups Pars United and Foundation of Hearts.
The Supporters Direct Scotland Fans’ Cup, which will be sponsored by QTS, will be held at East End Park on July 13th at 2pm.
Gate receipts from the game will be split equally between both clubs, who have been mired in financial difficulties in recent months.
Shona Robison, Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport said: “This is an excellent initiative from Supporters Direct Scotland, with support from QTS, for the fans of both clubs and indeed other clubs to get behind and I hope it is raises much needed funds to help Dunfermline and Hearts at what is a really difficult time.
“These clubs are part of the fabric of their communities, and it is good to see them joining together to take positive action. It is in everyone’s interests to find a solution which ensures that both Hearts and Dunfermline can continue in business and protect jobs, while also meeting their obligations to the tax authorities.
“The Scottish Government has made it clear to both clubs, as we have done for other clubs facing similar difficulties, that we will give any appropriate support needed to meet that objective.”
Roy Barry and Alan Anderson, captains from the 1968 Scottish Cup final - the last time the two teams contested a cup - have also given their backing, with Dunfermline legend Barry saying: “Coming together to benefit each other’s clubs is typical of the passion both sets of fans have shown already this year as they both strive to save their clubs and ultimately take their clubs over. I hope fans of both clubs, and other clubs too, come out in force for this game.”
Anderson added: “The one constant that every club has is its supporters, and they are the ones who are there week in, week out backing the club and the players.
“Hearts and Pars fans have been through tough times this year and it is to their absolute credit that they have backed their clubs so well. This game will provide additional income for both clubs.”
Paul Goodwin, Head of Supporters Direct Scotland, explained that the gate receipts would be split between both clubs, saying: “The gate receipts will be handed directly to BDO (the administrators of both clubs) who will split the money between the clubs and will be used immediately for day to day costs in running both clubs.”
Ian Murray, speaking on behalf of Foundation of Hearts, praised the creation of the cup, saying: “Both clubs play crucial roles in the communities they are located in and with supporters across the world. Supporters Direct Scotland backs fan groups across the country and has helped us and Pars United in our efforts to take significant community and fan role in our clubs.”
Pars United spokeswoman Margaret Ross, said they were ‘delighted’ to welcome the Tynecastle side to East End Park for the match, adding: “Both sets of fans have raised huge sums of money this year to not only help save their clubs but also to put themselves in a good position to buy our clubs.
“We hope that fans of other clubs will come along too as part of the football family that exists in Scotland and beyond.”
Managing Director of cup sponsor QTS Alan McLeish added: “I have been hugely impressed by the fantastic fundraising efforts being made by their fans to get their clubs through what has been an extremely difficulty period at East End Park and Tynecastle.
“Scottish football needs clubs like Dunfermline and Hearts to survive and challenge at the highest possible level and I had no hesitation in getting involved to support a fixture which could mean a great deal in terms of each club’s survival process.”
Tickets are priced at £10 for adults and £5 for concessions, and are on sale at both clubs.